The US Supreme Court today upheld Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on nationals from several Muslim-majority countries entering America, in a major endorsement of the immigration policy of the president, who welcomed the ruling with a “Wow!”
Trump’s travel ban had drawn widespread outrage from opposition Democratic lawmakers and rights bodies. In fact, several Democratic-ruled states had challenged Trump’s travel in court.
In a proclamation in September 2017, Trump had placed entry restrictions on nationals of eight foreign nations whose systems for managing and sharing information about their nationals he deemed inadequate.
These countries were – Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. He later removed the ban on Iraq and Chad.
Upholding Trump’s travel ban, the Supreme Court ruling said the proclamation creates a waiver programme open to all covered foreign nationals seeking entry as immigrants or non-immigrants.
“The Constitution and Acts of Congress confer on the President broad discretion to protect the interests of the United States,” he said.
“Today’s decision is critical to ensuring the continued authority of President Trump – and all future presidents – to protect the American people. We will continue to take and defend all lawful steps necessary to protect this great nation,” Sessions said.
The opposition Democrats described it as a sad day. “Discrimination is not a national security strategy, and prejudice is not patriotism. Let’s call this ban for what it is: an outright attack on the Muslim community that violates our nation’s commitment to liberty and justice for all,” said Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez.
“This is a sad day for America and it smears our nation’s reputation as a welcoming and tolerant society far and wide. I am deeply disappointed that the US Supreme Court has, once again, fully and completely endorsed discrimination,” said Congressman Bobby Rush.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said she is deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court’s majority failed to give sufficient weight to Trump’s stated “anti-Muslim” intent in issuing his travel ban. “As a country of immigrants that has been a refuge for people from around the world, this decision is contrary to who we are as a nation,” she said.
“This is a dark day for America. The Supreme Court ruling in Trump v Hawaii betrays our Constitution and advances fear, rather than facts,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
The Trump administration said the ruling is a step forward in securing the country.
“Today’s ruling confirms the legality of these critically important executive actions, and the Department of Homeland Security will continue to faithfully execute our country’s immigration laws and treat everyone we encounter humanely and with professionalism,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
“It is the duty of the government to ensure that those seeking to enter our country will not harm the American people,” it said.
“While we have the most generous immigration system in the world, it has repeatedly been exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm. President Trump’s executive actions take important steps to protect the American people by allowing for the proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals,” the official release said. PTI